Switzerland At the beginning of the year, Switzerland’s oldest bank, Wegelin, pleaded guilty to helping over 100 US citizens with tax fraud worth billions of dollars, before a US court. The bank, founded in 1741, agreed to pay damages to US authorities and announced its intention to close.
According to Countryaah, Switzerland continued to be pressured by the US and the EU to ease its banking secrecy and make tax evasion more difficult. But in June, the National Council rejected a deal that would have given tax authorities in the United States access to customer account information. The US threatened to shut out Swiss banks from the dollar market if nothing was done.
High director salaries and increasing gaps were a hot topic of debate during the year. Many Swiss people were upset over the fact that some managers earned more than 200 times more than their employees, even in companies where layoffs occurred. That the 2012 losses at bank giant UBS exactly matched what the company paid out in bonuses also caught the eye. In a referendum in March, voters with a large majority agreed to ban high severance pay and allow shareholders to vote on executive salaries and bonuses, in a regulatory framework that was described as among the most stringent in the world in the area. But in November, a proposal was voted down that managers could not earn more than a maximum of twelve times the lowest paid in a company.
In June, a large majority agreed to maintain tightening of the asylum legislation introduced in 2012. meant that asylum could not be sought at Swiss embassies. UN Refugee Agency UNHCR and human rights organizations targeted massive criticism of decisions in several municipalities to exclude asylum seekers from public places, such as swimming pools and libraries.
After a lengthy process, both parliament’s chambers agreed to buy 22 JAS Gripen planes from Sweden. Voters voted in September – by almost three-quarters of the majority – to retain military service. In the Italian-speaking canton Ticino, a ban on mockery in public places was adopted. Similar laws exist in France and Belgium, but Ticino became the first part of Switzerland to introduce such a decision.
Area: 41,290 km2 (world ranking: 132)
Population density: 205 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 99)
Official languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh (Rumantsch)
Gross domestic product: 668.4 billion Swiss Francs; Real growth: 1.1%
Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year): 80,560 US$
Currency: 1 Swiss franc (sfr) = 100 cents (Rp) / centimes (c)
Otto-von-Bismarck-Allee 4a, 10557 Berlin
Telephone 030 3904000,
Fax 030 3911030
Head of State: Alain Berset Ignazio Cassis
National holiday: 1.8. (Rütli oath in 1291)
State and form of government
Constitution of 2000
Parliamentary federal state
Parliament (Federal Assembly / Assemblée fédérale / Assemblea federale / Assamblea federala): National Council (Conseil national / Consiglio nazionale / Cussegl naziunal) with 200 members; Council of States (Conseil des Etats / Consiglio degli Stati / Cussegl dals chantuns) with 46 members (Cantonal Chamber); Election every 4 years.
Election of the Federal Council by the Federal Assembly every 4 years (concordance), election of the Federal President annually in December by the Federal Assembly from the members of the Federal Council. Right to
vote from 18 years.
Population: Swiss, last census 2013: 8,139,631 residents. Proportion of foreigners 2017: 24.2%
Cities (with population): (as of 2017) Zurich 409,120 residents, Genève (Geneva) 200,485, Basel 171,433, Lausanne 138,861, Bern 133,759, Winterthur 110,871, Lucerne 81,388, St. Gallen 75.508, Lugano 63.482, Biel (Bienne) 54.609, Thun 43.738, Bellinzona 43.181, Köniz 41.490, La Chaux-de-Fonds 38.621, Freiburg (Friborg) 38.513, Schaffhausen 36.325, Vernier 35.115, Chur 35.031, Uster 34.506, Sion (Sion) 34,590, Neuchâtel (Neuchâtel) 33,565, Lancy 31,939, Emmen 30,680, Zug 30,197, Yverdon-les-Bains 30,140, Dübendorf 28,137, Dietikon 27,042, Kriens 26,989, Rapperswil-Jona 26,980
Religions: 37.2% Catholics, 25, 0% Protestants, 5.1% Muslims, 0.2% Jews and others; 23.9% non-denominational (as of 2006)
Languages: (Main language) 62.8% German, 22.9% French, 8.2% Italian, 0.5% Romansh, 21.5% other languages (multiple answers possible)
Employed by economic sector: Agriculture. 3%, industry 21%, business 76% (2017)
Unemployment (in% of all labor force): 2017: 3.2%
Inflation rate (in%): 2017: 0.5%
Foreign trade: import: 185.6 billion Swiss francs (2017 (excluding precious metals)); Export: CHF 220.4 billion (2017 (excluding precious metals))
The Swiss Alps act as a climatic divide between the cool, temperate climate in the north and the Mediterranean climate in the south. The snow line is around 2,500m to 3,300m in the central alpine area. The foehn is of great regional importance. In Zurich, the average January temperatures are -1 ° C, the July temperatures are 18 ° C. The rainfall is 74mm in January and 143mm in July.